- a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation, as “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).
- a short pithy saying expressing a general truth; maxim
1520s (especially in reference to the “Aphorisms of Hippocrates”), from Middle French aphorisme (14c., aufforisme), from Late Latin aphorismus, from Greek aphorismos “definition, pithy sentence,” from aphorizein “to mark off, divide,” from apo- “from” (see ) + horizein “to bound” (see ).
An aphorism is a short, pithy statement containing a truth of general import; an is a statement of self-evident truth; a is a demonstrable proposition in science or mathematics; an is like an aphorism, but lacking in general import. and can be used as synonyms for aphorism.
A concise and often witty statement of wisdom or opinion, such as “Children should be seen and not heard,” or “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”